News Roundup: DoD Health Experts Want Troops to Cut Back on Energy Drinks


A recent study by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, titled "Energy drink consumption and its association with sleep problems among US service members on a combat deployment," looked at data from over 1,000 soldiers and Marines conducting operations in Afghanistan in 2010. The results found that nearly 45 percent of deployed military personnel consumed at least one energy drink daily, while nearly 14 percent reported drinking three or more per day. Those who drank three or more drinks per day experienced the worst health effects.

This week's news roundup brings to you a collection of articles and blog posts related to energy drink consumption by military personnel.

DoD Health Experts Want Troops to Cut Back on Energy Drinks. “Energy drinks are also loaded with sugar. Some cans pack a punch of 27 grams of sugar, two-thirds of the recommended daily maximum for men, and 2 grams more than the maximum doctors recommend for women. Some service members can double or even triple that if they drink more than one energy drink per day.”

Army warns of new threat: Energy drinks. CNN. “These products generally are unregulated and can have negative side effects," the report said. "Those who drank three or more drinks a day also were more likely to report sleep disruption related to stress and illness and were more likely to fall asleep during briefings or on guard duty.”

The science behind why you should stop chugging so many energy drinks. “One area that's concerning to Deuster is the ingredient taurine. The chemical compound is an amino acid found in animal tissue. Many energy drink makers purport the ingredient will enhance mental and physical performance, but researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center report that little is actually known about taurine's neuroendocrine effects.”

Keep unsafe energy drinks off bases. Stars and Stripes. “In combat, these cocktails of energy drinks, workout supplements and prescription drugs can tip a troop over from just feeling on edge to having a full-fledged panic attack. A DOD study found that soldiers consuming sports supplements were more likely to seek medical attention for irregular heartbeats: Twenty percent of the troops were unable to promptly return to duty and 10 percent required aeromedical evacuation.”

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